You may have noticed a little badge down and to the right on my blog. See it there? The one with #WEFamilies on it. Or maybe you never noticed at all. Perhaps you only ever use your iThing and you don’t see anything that resides in the sidebar. You can turn your phone sideways and it should magically appear! (Don’t you love learning new things? I’m a giver! Tee hee hee.)
I’m so excited to announce that I am a WE Families Ambassador!
I decided that today was as good a day as any to announce that, here. I have been sharing all things WE for years now, but I was asked to be a WE Families Ambassador late in November 2016, just before WE Day Atlantic.
Obviously, I said yes.
Then life went a bit sideways. As life is known to do. Sometimes that happens, right? I know you know exactly what I mean.
That being said, I have been working behind the scenes here, (there, and everywhere) and decided that I am going to make WEdnesday* (wordless and/or wordy) a semi-regular thing. Out in the open. See? Right out loud!
I won’t always have a WEdnesday post, but sometimes I will and when I do I will share some of the cool things WE are up to with a #WEFamilies twist.
Now, before this so-called (and lets be honest “wordless” is a pretty glaringly obvious misnomer now) Wordless WEdnesday post gets any longer I am going to hit publish!
I hope this Wordless (Hah!) WEdnesday made you smile and I also hope you will follow along as WE do our best to make the world a better place one action at a time.
I have always loved this Hemingway quote.
Never mistake motion for action.
Honestly, these days I find it is especially fitting. After all, that is what #WEFamilies are all about.
Well think of it as the Black Friday (or Cyber Monday) of charity.
Giving Tuesday is like “opening day of the giving season.”
It is a day to think about others and to take advantage of a doubling of your dollars because many charitable organizations have a “matching” sponsor. This means that you literally double your donation in some cases.
Give $20 and your organization receives $40.
Donate $50 and voila $100 goes to your favourite fund.
How cool is that?
You can learn more about Giving Tuesday here (please do!) but I want to quickly share with you a handful of my favourite organizations, in case you want to make a donation before midnight!
Free The Children – Free The Children is the brainchild of Craig and Marc Keilburger and you can read all about how they founded this amazing organization and the subsequent We, Me To We, and We Day awesomeness here.
David Suzuki Foundation – I have been a fan of David Suzuki for as long as I can remember. A few years back, he actually stepped down as the head of his own foundation to take attention away from his own struggles with a government that seemed determined to paint him as a radical. Oh! He’s radical alright! Radically awesome!
World Wildlife Foundation (Canada) – I hope you know about WWF Canada, for the love of our planet. This organization is famous for its symbolic wildlife adoptions (which make fabulous gifts for Things of all ages), Earth Hour, and many other initiatives. I wear my feelings for WWF Canada on my sleeve and I make no apologies for it. I wrote a guest blog way back when. I have written about it here on my blog and also here. We have one home. It’s the planet we live on. It’s time to show it the respect it deserves, isn’t it?
Because I Am A Girl – I am! You might be. Thing 2 is. My sister is. My mother, too. You either are one, have one or were made by one. Girls matter! Educating girls improves the lives of everyone. BIAAG Canada is taking this knowledge and sharing it around the world. You may have heard about their Pink Lemonade Stands and their using small actions to drive big change initiatives. How wonderful! We are big fans and my face goes all gigantic grin every time Thing 2 emerges from her room in the morning sporting her pink BIAAG T-shirt. “Girls’ rights are human rights.” Your darn right they are!
Malala Fund – Oh Malala! What a wonderful human being! If ever there was a person with a higher purpose than she ever could have known, it is Malala Yousafzai. Malala is an education activist and a Nobel Peace Prize recipient. She was in school when the call came that she had won. She told her teacher she would finish her studies for the day. Malala is walking the talk. I am a fan. Her book is beautiful, the children’s adaptation is great, and now there is even a movie!
So, whether you donate, share, learn or do some small act of kindness today you have taken part in Giving Tuesday and you have made a difference.
Today might be a three post kind of day because I have so many drafts, that I am starting to get anxious about it.
Anxiety at Christmas? You don’t say!
Who doesn’t have a little extra anxiety during the holidays? I don’t think I know a single person, actually.
However, I have vowed to not be that stressed out Mummy. No way. It’s no fun to be told Christmas is nothing but stress. Or worse, to think it. Especially when you have little eyes and ears watching and listening to everything you do and say. It’s simply not true, anyway.
Christmas is a wonderful season of perpetual hope, and if there is one thing I have learned in my years on this planet* it’s that hope floats. It’s always there and you have to hone your hope holding skills throughout your life, because it’s short. Really, really short. Even when it seems long.
Christmas is what you make it. You can make it all about stuff and spending and stress. Sure! Go right ahead. Seriously, fill your boots, but don’t blame your getting caught up in the commercialism on Christmas. Nope. Christmas didn’t make you do that. Santa didn’t point to the most expensive, elaborate, electronics and say, “By the powers of Comet’s Candy Cane, I command you to buy that!”. Not a chance.
Christmas is simple.
Humans make it complicated.
You have to be human, but you don’t have to be pressured into a holiday that stresses you out.
Cool your jets.
Take a breath.
Remember the wonder.
Breathe in the aromas.
Think back to a time when you believed in the magic.
Embrace the simplicity of an old fashioned Christmas, whatever that means to you.
Know that you are not alone.
Everyone is stressin’ a bit.
No one has *everything* done.
Martha Stewart has a team!
We just have each other.
Smile and know that even when people around you seem to have everything under control, there’s always an element of mystery in how the heck things get done.
For instance, we here at Chez Peady have been having the soggiest December I can ever recall and we have also been fighting a wicked cold, so we are very admittedly behind our typical December schedule. All the things that have not yet been done, were put on the back burner while the things that had to be done got done. School concerts, finding the lost trumpet, trumpet practice, finding the right shoes, making sure everyone was where they needed to be on time, getting a bit of shopping done, making sure I talked to my mother as often as possible, getting to a few charity events – even one in my Jammies – these all took precedent over making sure the ornaments were in the perfect place.
It’s life and it’s messy.
Am I freaking out? Nope. Why should I? Why should I waste a single drop of my precious energy freaking out when it will get done, with or without a grown-up tinsel tantrum?
It always has. I have yet to miss a Christmas. *wink*
So, my best advice to you, as Christmas is festively, twinkling up on us, is to take a deep breath and embrace the merriment.
Don’t forget to take care of your own needs, too. You matter! We need you to be at your best**, of course.
This morning I went to Zumba – just so you know I really am practicing what I preach – and I almost jumped for joy when I heard this pop up in the middle of class.
Yes, we did a Hula this morning to Mele Kalikimaka***. It was so fun! Could my Zumba instructorbe any cooler?
So, tell me, what stage of preparedness are you in for the upcoming Holidays?
Are you about ready to be Dasher and flee the scene?
Are you happily a Prancer ready to take on the task and dance your way through your cookie exchange?
Are you feeling Grinch-like and wondering what the heck is the big deal anyway?
Has your inner Ebenezer reared his Scrooge-y grumpiness?
What is your best advice for having a yule that’s cool?
Leave a comment and share your best tips for avoiding tinsel tantrums.
*No, I have never lived on another planet. Though there was that time last winter when it felt like we lived on Hoth.
**But we even like you when you are at your worst.
***Mele Kalikimaka**** has been a month-long mind-worm. Go ahead and ask my chicas! Ukuleles at Christmastime? Oh YES!
****Then there’s this, which I saw on Saturday, but wasn’t blogged out until today, hence the edit! COME ON!! This is hulu-arious! (Day #8) Zucchini is the sweetest doggie!
My weeks are long. Some weeks seem so impossibly long, that by the time Friday rolls around I am fairly certain I will not make it through. One too many e-mails, phone calls, appointments, meetings, bills, arguments, conflicts, worries . . . what have you. I do, of course. We all do. No matter what happens, we are all usually gifted with enough . . . (What? Oomph? Chutzpah? Will? Determination! Yeah. Let’s go with determination.) determination to make it through those days and weeks when the challenges seem to outweigh the triumphs.
This was one of those weeks. This month has kind of been (mostly) made up of these weeks. Why? Didn’t 2014 get the memo that this year was supposed to be the best? Did the Universe not understand that I had big plans to be better – AT EVERYTHING? Better wife, better mother, better friend, better, better, better….
Better s-l-o-w down there, missy, because you are setting yourself up for a major face plant on the floor of this shiny New Year!
Where was I? Oh yes! Long week. You “get” it, yes? Great. Moving on.
This week I didn’t even make it until Friday before my mettle was tested. Bare in mind, in many ways, it’s tested on a daily basis for various reasons. Some of which are typical, run-of-the-mill, everyday annoyances that everyone experiences to one degree or another. Some, well… some are unique to my situation as the mother of, and the wife of, some pretty interesting individuals. (To be clear, I just have the one husband, but I am confident he’d agree that he is definitely an individual!)
Maybe I put a bit too much pressure on myself? Maybe thinking my very first blog entry should be so gripping and interesting that it would catch the eye of a kind audience of readers who would all declare, “I laughed. I cried. It moved me!”, was a bit ambitious? When I think about it logically, I have to agree that it is possible.
I mean, just since I started typing at my laptop, here, in my kitchen (where I must stand to type because “laptop” is a bit of a misnomer for my “Frankenputer” now, but I digress…) I have been interrupted no fewer than five times by Thing 1 who is currently playing Clumsy Ninja on my iThing and is just so excited by every. single. new. thing. his Clumsy Ninja pal does, he can’t help, but interrupt to share all the fun with me. Forget that there are two other people here who would be happy to listen. Forget that his little sister might actually really love to hear what he has to say, so she can try to do a similar thing with her Ninja. He comes to me. Me. Always me. It’s lovely, really. It is also, if I am to be honest at all, exhausting. However, his enthusiasm is pure joy and when he cheekily asked a few minutes ago, “Was it worth it?” I just smiled and kissed him and agreed that, yes, it was. Watching that chicken, with 5 balloons attached to her back, floating up into the cartoon sky was totally worth my losing my train of thought. And it was. This is my life.
So, yes, perhaps I made a bit of a mountain out of a molehill where this particular endeavour is concerned. Okay. I’ll get over myself.
This week was a challenge from stem to stern. Thursday’s mail came with not one, but two scary letters. The kind that make you catch your breath. The kind that make you wonder why you bother trying to be a good, fine, upstanding citizen. The kind that you are 100% certain will have nothing good to say on the inside of their envelopes. The kind, that though you are digging deep and putting your inner Pollyanna on high alert for a serious dose of positivity, you just know nothing good can possibly come from. The kind, worst of all, that you can’t do a darn thing about until the next day. Ugh! Who can sleep now!?!
Then Friday came. See? We make it. Despite everything to the contrary, we make it.
On Friday, there’s a tiny bit of a “hope boost”, isn’t there? It’s organic. Naturally built into even a stressful week. The weekend is so close we can taste it. Just get the children out the door and onto their buses and we’re golden! The Things will have time to play, read, breathe, do nothing. If I’m lucky, so will I! This is enough to get me through the day, but on this particular Friday a beautiful thing happened. A very kind message left on my iThing by the VP at Thing 1’s school, praising Thing 1 for something that had occurred the day before. A reminder that the things we do and say make a difference, not only in the lives of our Things, but also in the lives of their friends and classmates (and teachers). Kindness.
I cried. Yup. I cried in my car in the parking lot of a bulk food store. Then I laughed at my ridiculousness and went to buy Chia (You know? Ch-ch-ch-chia!) for my smoothies because – gosh darn it – this year I am going to be BETTER!
Just maybe not at everything, all the time, right away.